Design models, Closing Ceremony, cardboard/plastic/foam core, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, designed, made and used at the Ceremonies Workshop, Eveleigh, Sydney, 2000
Made from cardboard, plastic and foam core, these design models represent the floats and other props that featured in the Closing Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games. Staff at the Ceremonies Workshop made the models in either 1999 or 2000 and used them to finalise the prop designs and to create a miniature version of the arena, complete with floats, props and other structures that would be manoeuvred during the event. Together, these items represent an important stage in the development of the Closing Ceremony and supplement the many floats and props that have remained after the event.
The closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place on Sunday, 1 October, at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay. It included solemn formalities, an informal parade of athletes and a farewell party that took the form of an unregimented parade with floats that celebrated and often mocked aspects of Australian popular culture. The intention was to conduct the ceremony with decorum until the extinction of the Olympic flame, and then to unleash a party. The artistic director of the closing ceremony David Atkins explained: 'The athletes have finished competition, and are ready to party, and we have set about creating a party to end all parties. We have decided to invite everyone into our giant Australian backyard - fully equipped with Hills Hoists, barbecues, an eclectic mix of music, performers and all manner of Australiana. Australians have a tradition of throwing great parties, and this one will be imbued with a sense of fun, larrikinism and goodwill.' According to Ric Birch (speaking on Channel 7's 'Olympic Sunrise'), the Opening Ceremony was to represent Australia at large, but the Closing Ceremony was Sydney's show.
The opening ceremony told a mythic story of nation-building that dwarfed individuals. It was evocative and subtle. The closing ceremony, however, celebrated personality, celebrity and attitude. Loud and brash, more like a rock concert than a profoundly theatrical event, it was an extravagant send-off - fun, festive, shamelessly excessive and, for an international audience, decidedly weird.
As the ceremony unfolded the proliferation of suburban images, such as Hills Hoists, blowflies, lifesavers and thongs, was treated with self-deprecating irony rather than clichÂ?. The wit and quality of the 'Parade of Icons' - a gala of Australian celebrities - reflected the influence of the late Peter Tully and his experience as artistic director of the Sydney Mardi Gras. His 'pit chicks', for example, donned silver hot pants and stiletto shoes and carried giant eyelashes and mascara for the Priscilla Bus - a prop that celebrated the Australian film, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', and local gay culture.
A large team of set designers, prop builders and model makers collaborated to design and make the models and props for the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. These models demonstrate the collective work of this team.
Model-makers at the Ceremonies Workshop crafted these design models from cardboard, plastic and foam core. The models were made in 1999 and 2000 to represent miniature versions of the floats and props that would feature in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games.
The Ceremonies Workshop at Eveleigh used these models to finalise the prop designs and to create a miniature version of the arena, complete with floats, props and other structures that would be manoeuvred during the Closing Ceremony.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.